View Full Version : Need help qith engine choice

07-30-2013, 01:33 PM
I've just acquired a WWI GPW, which currently has a flathead six H series engine. I haven't tried to fire it off yet, but I do know it turns over without any problem. I have access to a 4.3 liter engine and drivetrain out of a 1986 S-10 blazer and a 350 ci engine and drivetrain out of a 1984 Suburban. Both of these drivetrains are free to me. Basically, I can use whatever I want out of both the scrap vehicles including frames.

So, do I keep the flathead from 1948 or consider shortening a frame and putting the GPW body on one of the other vehicle frames and drivetrain?

1948 Cal Willys Pickup
07-31-2013, 09:15 AM
Thats the question that plagues everyone that has owned a Willys. In my opinion, as Original Willys get harder and harder to find I would keep it stock as possible since you potentially already have a good runner. I would find another Willys that wasnt as stock and modify it as a daily driver or rock crawler or rat rod or whatever you want to do with it. An unoriginal project that someone else has started and cant finish can be pretty cheap.

08-01-2013, 12:42 PM
There's very little about this project that is original. Springs don't match up. I have no seats. The steering isn't original. I don't even think the transmission they put behind the flathead six is original. Basically, I have a body and frame. I'm not looking to take it back to WWII. I'm more interested in having something that I can run around town and still be in good enough shape to take to the mountains and run without worrying about a breakdown. The 350 ci will always have parts readily available.

1948 Cal Willys Pickup
08-02-2013, 09:33 AM
In that case I would stick with the 350 becuase you are right, plenty of parts. If you are looking for a dependable comfortable daily runner use I would put the body on something else if you have ready access to something unless you are going to have to do major mods (frame shortening, etc.)to whatever donor vehicle you use. If you keep the frame you are using now, you need to do some major inspecting especially around the engine mounts as they will have been modified to carry that 350. There are plenty of mount kits for the 350 as well. Be advised you are looking at potential major changes by swaping drive trains. I have a GM straight 6 in mine whick required some major and minor changes. Had to modify firewall, tranny mount location, fan replaced with electric fan, drive shaft shortened etc. Let me know what you decide to do. I may be able to give you more pointers. Most of what was done to my 48 PickUp was done before I owned it and I am basically trying to do it right. If you have time take a look at my engine mount photo album. You will get an idea of what I am starting with and how a lot of the mods were done on my truck and why I am redoing it.

08-08-2013, 10:23 AM
I've decided not to pursue either the 4.3L or the 350 ci engines. I'm not thrilled about moving a swiss cheese body to a different drive train and frame, especially when there will be major mods to make it fit. If I was building a rock crawler, that would be a different story. However, I'm not. I've decided this will be used for light four wheeling on the river and a memory maker for my family. So, I'm sticking with the flathead six and existing equipment. I'll definitely be needing help with the work, though. It's sat for more than 15 years, so there are bound to be issues. However, the engine does turn over and the PO said it was running when he parked it last.

11-05-2013, 10:46 AM
I saw a RHD mail Jeep Dispatcher with 2WD running a 350 w/automatic...the guy cut the top off with a sawzall, removed the doors, and he then had an open bodied Jeep...this thing was cheap to build and scary fast !!